Apr
09
2017

Tweet of the Day, These Advanced Gravy Techniques Intrigue Me edition.

Although we’d need a gravy separator.  Which is something that my wife has been apparently contemplating picking up for some time, so that’s not really an obstacle.  Truthfully, gravy has been one of those things where my culinary kung fu has been weak: my parents could make pretty much everything except gravy. Eventually we gave up and went with store brands.

So this is of interest.

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4 Comments

  • nicklevi86 says:

    Wasn’t someone’s online bio once concluded with points in Roux? Sounds like a solid foundation.

  • acat says:

    I’m not gonna say this is wrong .. because it isn’t, sorta .. but it’s got several extra steps in it that aren’t really needed .. at least not the way Aunt M, the aunt-in-law from Alabama taught me… and her gravy has been *amazing* – with one exception – since well before I was *born*.
    .
    First things first – you do have to separate the drippings *but only if they’re very fatty* .. once the roast (or chicken or turkey) is on the carving board to rest, wait a minute or two and see how much fat floats to the top, right in the pan. If not too much, then .. just go for it. You’ll get a feel for how much is “too much” over time .. like most southern cooking, Aunt M’s methods are pretty darn analog.
    .
    If there *is* too much, you don’t need a “separator”, you need a pawful of ice cubes. *Gently* place them in the pan, and wait a few minutes, then spoon out blobs of congealed fat with ice cubes in the middle.
    .
    Now, scrape everything into a big ol’ cast iron skillet. All the drippings, and all the fat you didn’t skim. It’ll be fine. Put it on the stove, and start it simmering. *NOT* boiling, just simmering, stirring with a *sauce* whisk (https://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Krona-Sauce-Master-Whisk/dp/B0000VLXY6) ..
    .
    While stirring, use your left hand to fish a tall glass out of the cabinet and mix 1 part flour *or* cornstarch *or* tapioca flour (any will work, arrowroot also works but tastes funny – purists use flour, corn starch can get lumpy if you’re not *meticulous*, and tapioca used to be tough to find ..) with 3 parts cool water, using a common whisk. Get *all* the lumps out. (you can also use an italian dressing “shaker bottle” for this, but I consider that cheating .. and it’ll only work with flour, not cornstarch or tapioca)
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    Now for the tricky part.
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    While stirring the steaming, simmering drippings, *slowly* pour the flour-water mixture into the pan, so it is either on or *slightly* ahead of the sauce-whisk. It’s *very important* that the flour-water mixture be incorporated into the drippings immediately, not left to linger. Add about 1/4 cup at a time, with breaks – keep stirring! – so it can thicken and you can get a sense for when it reaches the “right” thickness.
    .
    I mentioned Aunt M’s a bit analog, yes? Keep stirring!
    .
    Okay, once it’s to the right thickness, discard any leftover flour-water mixture, and take the gravy off the heat.
    .
    Why did you stop stirring? Don’t stop! Keep stirring until it’s cooled down a little, then transfer it to the gravy boat.
    .
    No, you shouldn’t need to strain it unless you did a crappy job of whisking to break up the chunkier drippings, or if you were inconsistent while adding the flour-water mixture.
    .
    Works every single time.
    .
    Mew
    .
    .
    .
    p.s. The exception was the year I got Aunt M laughing so hard she didn’t keep an eye on the heat, and scorched the whole pan full of drippings .. my penance was making the gravy the following year…

  • Brian Swisher says:

    Coincidentally, this afternoon I made a not-gravy sort f sauce thing with the left over liquor from doing a pot roast. I simmered it for a couple of hours to reduce it, added a bit of Better-Than-Bouillon and some cornstarch to thicken. I whisked the heck out of it, but couldn’t get rid if all the lumps, so I ran it through a strainer. The result was thick beefy beefness, which was my aim. As this was a total experiment on my part, I consider it a success. Consumed it with my pot roast (and the potatoes and carrots that went along with the roast) while watching “The Empire Strikes Back”.

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